Gillian Schutte
Gillian Schutte

Dear White People

I have decided to start the New Year with a letter to you all. It is a letter that implores you to wake up and smell Africa with a fresh white nose.

Before you get angry and defensive, think of this letter as a crash course survival kit for navigating a new reality, and please be assured that if you take heed of the call in this letter your life will change in miraculous ways. Once the blinkers are off the world is a much more colourful and celebratory place to engage in.

Let me begin by wholeheartedly apologising for what my ancestors did to the people of South Africa and inviting you to do the same. I reject their legacy as much as is possible and, as you already know, have made it a life mission to deconstruct the phallocentric white view of ”white as right” and the misguided precept that white is central to all reality.

I reject the discourse of white domination but I acknowledge that I was brought up in this construct. Though my single-mother household was never economically privileged we were privileged by virtue of our skin colour and my mother was given assistance by the state that a woman of colour was denied.

I call on white people to reflect on what it means to be born into unearned privilege, to excavate our long history of racist exploitation and assumed superiority — to acknowledge that this is what we were taught and then to reject it wholly.

I call on white people to acknowledge that whiteness has become invisible to us and we no longer recognise it for a discourse that perpetuates the dehumanisation of black people in ways so subtle that they appear normal.

I call on white people to admit that the rainbow nation is a myth and until we truly are able to recognise the humanity of all people we cannot claim to be post-racist.

I call on white people to acknowledge how white supremacy continues to play out in the media — in representations of blackness — in the constant accusation that black people are racist when they speak their truth.

I call on white people to recognise the black-bashing trend of our media, which is largely white owned, and to put an end to this dehumanising and destructive infantile idiocy.

I call on white people to recognise that by jumping in on national debates that do not concern them they are usurping a platform for authentic black voices to air their grievances about our leadership. You may have noticed that the black voices we need and want to hear choose to disengage because they are skaam to share the podium with a lot of cacophonic white outrage about the same topic but from a white racist perspective.

White people please just shut up for once and listen. Not everything is about white people being accused of racism. Sometimes it is about the black middle class and whether or not they have adopted vile white practices.

I implore you, white people, to listen to black voices calmly and not to react defensively to every outrage a black voice presents.

I call on white people to accept that they are not the only race that is entitled to rage, to hurt, to pain, to anger.

I call on white people, to recognise that they fear the emotions of black people — that it is this fear that makes them shut down black voices and defend themselves from the suggestion that they are complicit in the continued oppression of black people.

I call on white people to recognise that we have all been taught (in varying degrees) that black people do not have the same emotions and psychology as us and that this fallacy is built upon the double-edged sword of domination and fear. To dehumanise a people is to exploit them with no guilt. To recognise their collective pain is to admit the guilt thereby see the humanity.

I call on white people to recognise how whiteness has unconsciously used blackness as a conduit for its own darkness and unacknowledged savagery.

I implore white people to get over their fear that black people are out to slaughter them in a wholesale genocide of revenge. It has not happened yet and there is so much evidence that it will never happen in a country that has built its economic policy on global standards that favour whiteness and rely on the middle class as a buffer zone between the people on the ground and the elite corporate and political class. Just get over yourselves. White people of middle class are still safer than people living in townships.

I call on white people to work on a strategy to lessen the growing gap between rich and poor because, white people, it is the poor who are really suffering in this country and it is the poor who are the wretched fall-out from a more than 360-year history of white domination, slavery, subjugation and theft of livelihood.

I call on white people to understand that poverty and unemployment are social conditions. By renaming them ”laziness”, ”lack of ambition” and ”stupidity” you are furthering your own illogical delusions that whiteness has nothing to do with the untenable conditions that most black people are forced to live in. These are not inherent traits of being black, as many of you are fond of saying. These are the social consequences of a brutal colonial history and current globalisation — coupled with weak anti-the-poor leadership.

And please white people, when you feel compelled to criticise Zuma, as we all do, please ensure that you are critiquing him for his favouring of white corporates and the white middle class over poverty issues — for his pro-capitalist stance and his failure to deliver to the poor — for his patriarchal utterances that threaten to usurp women’s rights — rather than obsessing over his penis, his wives, his second-language command of English and using him as a scapegoat for all your fears and negative unconscious stereotypes about all black folk.

Oh and one more thing … asseblief white people, from well-meaning liberals to white supremacists — just stop telling everyone who is not white how to behave, what to think and when to say what. By trying to control the public agenda you are participating in your own imagined oppression and avoiding the possibility that we are all human and can co-exist very nicely.

Be grateful that you are still welcome in a land that was stolen.

And stop bitching and telling black people to get over their history. Goddammit — if those things had happened to white people there would be an entire world domination film industry built upon the “legitimised suffering of white people” so why will you not understand that colonialism was a holocaust of epic proportions and it will take many, many more decades for the pain to subside.

Instead of defending your privileges by denying them and nursing your guilt through misguided outrage — why not get your hands dirty while helping to restore this country to a space of dignity and respect for all.

Try now to reconsider the possibility of the healing potential of apologising collectively and genuinely for the wrongs our history has perpetrated against the indigenous people of this land.

Oh ja … and white people, please try not to respond negatively and vilely to my letter because I will never stop pleading with you to get over yourselves and get with the current programme. It is as easy as the blink of an eye.

Yours sincerely,

Settler Sister

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  • 591 Responses to “Dear White People”

    1. ntozakhona #

      “What point are you making exactly. Sobukwe says that the rule of the African majority must be accepted, there must be equitable distribution of wealth. I do not and cannot disagree with that.

      However as long as there is a rejection of the domocratic rule and refusal to share in the waelth of the country, it means our past still very much alive and is with us.”

      It thought the point regarding Sobukwe was very clear – that Whites have accepted democratic rule back in 1994 already and that they are therefore just as African as everybody else. But why is is that you keep on refusing to acknowledge that the wealth has already been redistributed – during the past 20 years of AA/BEE to the extent that Whites now only make up 30% of the South African middle/upper classes. Why do you continue to ignore that progress. What more do you want from them as a tiny racial minority that you continue to insist “own all the wealth’?

      Don’t you think that the middle/upper classes have any contribution to make regardless to race/ethnicity. Or is that exactly why you keep on repeating that same mantra over and over, so as to escape and distract from your own responsibility? Just as Julius Malema sings “kill the Boer”, he is also cheating on his taxes and refusing to share the wealth himself. That “new tendency”.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    2. Such an emotional and assumptions article, it seems like the ramblings of a late night drunk text.

      It is almost an attempt by the author to ingratiate herself with black people, rather than build a bridge between the chasm that exists between the races and cultures of SA. It seeks to validate the dangerous assumption that whites are all bigoted, grudging racists who want to go back to the dark days of apartheid.

      Where does it stop? Will a blanket apology by white people change the past? Will it halt the new breed of racism being propagated by our leaders, who seek to use division and history to validate their failures? And how long should we pay penance before we can all just get on with it and build one nation. What purpose will it fulfill, especially 20 years after the tide was turned?

      None. The die has been cast. And your valid points are lost in a tirade of political and racial rhetoric. Let us rather find new Afrcan leaders who look to direct our ship to the horizon, not to the depths.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm
    3. nguni #

      You just can’t stop yanking our chains, can you? This is what gives you the literary orgasms your were groaning about recently. There must be a website somewhere where we can discuss your disgustingly devisive behaviour WITHOUT censorship.

      January 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm
    4. Debo Adekunle #

      Nice one Gillian.You deserve a pat on the back.Its the first time in the no of years i have lived here that i see such an honest and frank write up on the statusquo.

      January 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm
    5. Stephen #

      I don’t quite understand what I’m supposed to do after reading this piece. The author keeps saying I need to get involved, but at the same time she’s saying that my involvement is suspect, my history tainted and my character flawed. All this because I just so happen to have a white skin. Didn’t she also state that conferring characteristics based on skin colour is a flawed concept? Or does that only apply if you’re black?

      Should I spend the rest of my life on my knees begging forgiveness for things that happened before I was born? When can I stop begging, or should I die on my knees? Sounds like that’s what is required.

      I’m sorry for writing this response. Hell, I’m sorry for using certain words. Gosh, I’m just so sorry for everything. Sorry.

      January 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    6. Bill #

      I await her next treatise on Israeli Apartheid and the Palestinians living in the worlds largest Concentration Camp in Gaza.

      January 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm
    7. Count Yob #

      I celebrate my whiteness, understood to be my European ancestry and heritage of western culture. You tell white people to shut up. Why don’t you follow your own advice? White people have been demonized enough for their success and achievements. Stop encouraging the genocide of white people in Africa.

      January 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm
    8. YoungVoice #

      I am a very young South African and it is so tiring and boring reading these kinds of things. It is the first time I have ever chosen to respond so that maybe someone who was BORN into the SA democracy can share their insights. This letter is firstly PATRONISING to black people and racist towards white people. I am sick and tired of the “anti-racists” who are still racist, but towards their own kind. @Lefthand, your response was outstanding. Gillian you urge white people to stop thinking about race and yet YOUR letter is directed to a specific race. YOU stop thinking about race. And everyone should. I went to a private all girls school which I can safely say is perfectly mixed in “race” and most of the wealthiest parents at my school were not white. Stop thinking about race and start thinking about social class. You associate naturally with people within your social class and that is how, to put it bluntly, the young people of South Africa think. I will not go and naturally associate with people living in townships but nor would I naturally associate with white hobos on the streets and at the same time, black peers of mine at school and friends would not naturally associate with people in the townships. So that point being made, I would like to ask that people stop thinking race and start to think in realistic terms. The main point I would like to make is that race has nothing to do with taking or witholding wealth, the corrupt government does. WAKE UP

      January 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm
    9. GarethV #

      Hyperbolic claptrap!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    10. Max #

      Dear Gillian,

      Looks like you can remove the white lady from finger-wagging-predikant-se-boere-gemeenskap.

      But you can’t remove the finger-wagging-boere-predikant from the white lady.

      Regards

      Melanin Max

      January 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm
    11. ntozakhona #

      Ozoneblue your take on the SA situation is refreshingly different. I agree that lots of progress has been made in correcting the past and creating a new future.

      We are however still saddled with the challenges of inequality which means poverty and unemployment for the vast majority.

      You and a few admirable others might have accepted democratic rule but the insults against the head of state stripped naked, attempts at disrupting governance through endless court actions, the comparison of democracy with the diabolical apartheid are indications of a rejection of democracy by ”whiteness’and baaskap”. I use the labels to describe ingrained attitudes of hatred and that will probably exclude the likes of you.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm
    12. ntozakhona #

      KHOLISILE we know it and has experienced it, it is not the prerogative of perpetrators to tell us to get over it especially as they still exhibit some of its forms. I cannot agree with you more,

      January 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm
    13. Lennon #

      @ ntozakhona: HAHAHAHA!!!!

      You’ve just assumed that I have some sort of high-paying job because I’m white? I do not have a high-paying job. I’m nothing more than a low-level techie earning a working-class salary who relies on public transport to get around (that includes getting to work). I own neither a car nor a 42″ TV (actually, I don’t even own a TV) and the only material wealth which I can boast about is my collection of books and comics. I’m also in the position of watching my salary being drained away every month so that my disabled mother, who has a combination of multiple schlerosis (since about ’93) and osteoporosis (more recently) and my father (whose industry as all-but imploded leaving only cheapskates who refuse to spend money on repairs) don’t lose their house. So don’t for one minute presume to know or think that I have a specific mindset or overpaid job or cushy life just because I’m white.

      There was not attempt on my part to cloud the issue nor was the question rhetorical. But by assuming what you have in both of your responses you have shown yourself to be no different to both the guilty liberals and unapologetic racists which make up a fair number of my own extended family which, quite frankly is both sad and disgusting.

      But I shall rephrase on the off chance that you might not have understood: How can whites fully contribute if their opinions are to be ignored?

      January 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm
    14. Lennon #

      @ ntozakhona: It might also surprise you that I agree with a lot of what Julius Malema (for all his anti-white ranting) has had to say about the economy.

      I believe that his calls for economic protectionism (i.e. not selling out to foreign interests) are correct along with his assertion that Jacob Zuma should focus on SA’s needs instead of kissing Queen Bess’ arse for an honorary knighthood.

      It might also be of interest that there are many whites do not want the ANC to fail as government and would readily cast their votes in the ANC’s favour if they would only eliminate the gross corruption which has become endemic in all levels of government.

      I spoke truthfully on GIllian’s previous article when I said that racial prejudices mystify me. I will tell you quite plainly and honestly that it never ever occurred to me to consider a person’s race in any way when dealing with anyone. Would you prefer that I changed my stance?

      January 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm
    15. Gosh, is an eye-opener to see how many white supremacists crawl out of the woodwork to attack Gillian, her family, including her writing style, grammar and whatnot. Eish!

      Its becoming more evident that whites in SA with their white tribal party, need to seriously rethink their role in the new SA, that Rainbow Nation envisioned by Mandela. Their self-proclaimed status as the official “opposition” party has truly usurped the role of opposition politics that was supposed to strengthen our democracy.

      Gillian’s does not attempt to offer any solutions in this article per se, but merely tells it like it is. So one suggestion might be the idea of neighbourhood self-help groups to help whites deprogram apartheid’s indoctrination of white supremacy is urgently needed now more than ever in our country. Acknowledging the truth is the first step towards transformation. Just as whites had the organizational skills and motivation to create and maintain an oppressive system to benefit them for centuries, they should now use these resources, just as Gillian’s courageous use of her skills, to reverse this cancer that continues to fester in our society.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:05 pm
    16. GF.A #

      Who gave this feminist a soapbox? Maybe we should stop talking about these things, over analyzing and just start accepting each other.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:07 pm
    17. White minority #

      What are you talking about? I am now 29 and have no problem living in our rainbow nation. I was taught to have respect for one and all, but with at least a 10 year difference between us, you could have been guilty of all you apologized for, don’t do it on my behalf! Neither me, nor my family did anything to any fellow citizen! We didn’t vote back then, we where only living under the governments’ rules, as I still do today. Yes I am a proud South African, but I worked very hard for the little I have and I would recommend it to all that feel wealth should be “shared”. The problem in SA still is incompetence and the feeling that one owe the other, whether it is money, vehicles, houses, etc. I went to school, got a SCHOLARSHIP for studies because of good grades not because I am white, and worked for all I have(yes there were white families that had NOTHING in the “old SA” and couldn’t afford Universities). I strongly advice hard work and persistence to all in South Africa regardless of skin color or I see a troubling financial future. Good luck with that…

      January 7, 2013 at 7:32 am
    18. Tessa #

      I must say, I couldn’t agree with you more that we ALL need to catch a wake-up and “smell Africa”. We need to all work together as a nation, creating the most amazing country that we all know it could be if we are honest with ourselves.
      My only problem with your letter to whites, and most other ramblings about this sort of thing, is that everyone is so stuck on the past …
      Yes, the whites stole the land from the blacks, what like hundreds of years ago. Those responsible must have reincarnated a couple times already so long ago this was. We now cannot be blamed for that. We now cannot be made to pay for that, something we had no part in whatsoever.
      What I would like to tell everyone is, not to forget the past and our history, all our history, but to accept that it happened and that what happened cannot be changed. BUT what can be changed is our future. Can we not stop tripping over the past and decide to make the future better. Not because we feel guilty, we shouldn’t because we didn’t do anything then. But because we live together in a wonderful country and we want to live together in it prosperously.
      Why can we not look to our future and make it awesome.
      We cannot change what happened in the past where we were not involved, but we can build the future.
      It isn’t anyone here’s fault what happened, but it will be our fault if we do not stand together and make it awesome. TOGETHER.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:27 am
    19. Zeph #

      Shame on me; I am white.
      But as a realist I think I would rather worry about my accounts and keeping the twenty five people I employ in employemnent. Maybe Gillian you should try it?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:21 am
    20. Tofolux #

      @Gillian, this is the first ”piece’ I’ve read in 2013 and what a welcome. Let me begin by extending best wishes, good health, lots of prosperity to you, yours and all participants on this forum. Let me also thank you (once again) for your sobering thoughts. It is refreshing that one is constantly reminded that our everyday struggle does not go unnoticed by ”voices with a concience”. Personally for me it reminds me that confronting racism is the right thing to do and should I ignore it, another person will be at the receiving end of this barbaric behaviour. Also, I would like to add that if our fellow citizens do not heed your call, it is to their own detriment. Inasmuch as there is this barbaric behaviour, there is someone who is nursing a ”festering sore”. There is no use denying the hatred exists amongst some of us. We cannot be victims forever and at some point in time something will give. This is not a comment in passing but an observation that some feelings are historical and have become ingrained and embedded in our minds. To you, Aluta Continua. We shall overcome.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:24 am
    21. Kyle Erasmus #

      Dear Lady

      I really feel very sorry for you, and it is absolutely obvious that you never had any ancestoral family who were murdered & brutalised and forced to speak only English by the English in the Anglo Boer wars, something we all had to get over, and did, so much so that in 13 years after the last Boer war, us brutalised South Africans fought side by side with the British in the 1st world war to save their bacon.

      It is not white South Africans that determine the standards and pace of change of attitude and behaviour for Black South Africans, but the rest of the commercial world, which we cannot isolate ourselves from.
      Zuma’s recent comment about white culture and african culture is idiotic and laughable, as this will only cause our own downfall and isolation from the commercial world, as they determine the standards, and if we fail to meet them, we will only fall by the wayside and be trodden on.

      In so far as the theft of the country goes, maybe you should delve deeper into history, and you will find that the country was “stolen”by Blacks from the North, and Whites from the South, from the traditional inhabitants who were the Xoi and the San people, and if we have to give the country back, we will have to try and find the “True” Xoi and San people if there are any left, to give the country back to.

      All of us, South Africans must buck up and pull up our boot straps and stop finding excuses for non-performance, to meet the world standard !!!

      January 7, 2013 at 9:36 am
    22. ntozakhona #

      The revelation of your stance is progress, I will however differ with you on Zuma and am of the view should have formed own party that seek to destroy the ANC through undermining its processes. There was a lot of bias to issues he raised though.

      No one is saying any of the fellow South Africans should be silent, we grew up taking pride and actually venerating the voices of Joe Slovo, Beyers Naude and Barbara Hogan. We even learned to take into consideration what the van Zyl Slabberts and Helen Suzman were saying despite regarding them as collaborators.

      South Africa is a democracy and can only thrive with a multiplicity of voices. It is a fact that some of the voices seek at best to maintain the status quo or at worst revert us to pre 1989. They are voices of baaskap that insist that the democratic government is illegitimate. We will not shy away from being combative against such.

      Let us agree to differ on how we change the lives of our people for the better, agreeing that baaskap, inequality and the resultant unemployment and porverty are the common enemy. We in debate and dialogue will find common ground on many issues though not all. There is unlikely to be any common ground with baaskap.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:39 am
    23. ntozakhona #

      Corrigenda …am of the view Malema should have …. (I type slower and ideas come out running ahead)

      January 7, 2013 at 9:41 am
    24. ntozakhona #

      So then we agree to agree?

      That is what make White liberals so dangerous. Look at what Gillian said here –

      “You may have noticed that the black voices *we need and want to hear* choose to disengage because they are skaam”

      That I assume was (subconscious) – slip of the tongue. We then must be not fail to ask who the “we” are, but I read it as liberal Whites who wants to subtly champion their Eurocentric/globalist cultural values and norms. The so-called “racist” or (less sophisticated) Whites are then in fact sabotaging their civilising project, that is what Gillian is complaining about.

      It is readily understood that these White liberals are generally antagonistic towards Zuma, traditional leaders, African values and so on. Let there be no doubt about that, the irony is that they camouflage their agenda behind a pretence that they are attacking “whiteness” or racism, but nothing is further from the truth.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:52 am
    25. Dave Harris #

      I think you need to take a step back from what you wrote up there. The ANC has become a party almost exclusively supported by black Africans. The DA is by far the most racially mixed party in South Africa. To put it bluntly, South Africa is gradually being polarised into two groups – the Africans and the non-African (i.e. Whites, Coloureds, Indians). Of course in debates like this, the White liberal playing the polarising role, but you would note that the general discourse hardly touches on the position of the Coloured and the Indian.

      It is a huge matter of concern, no use blaming anybody else – Trevor Manuel would not resort to attacking a colleague in public for no reason nor has this fact been lost on the leadership of the ANC.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:14 am
    26. @The Creator:
      Yes, I can say that “I reject the discourse of black domination”, because there is one. Did you forget about the ‘African solutions to African problems’, or the ‘indiginisation’ of Zimbabwe?

      Yes, I can say “black people born into unearned privilege”, because they do exist and many of them are. I went to the same schools and universities as many of them, so at the very least we can agree that nobody was more privileged in my case. We’re not talking about townships, but then if we were, we’d have to talk about the poor white problems of the past too.

      Yes, I can say “black people, stop telling everyone who is not black how to behave”, but I would like to take that one step further and I would like people with softer heads than their hearts to stop telling other people how to behave with their sweeping assumptions and their racial profiling of privilege.

      If Gillian takes issue with her own privilege, she is free to redistribute her wealth to whoever she identifies as a worthy recipient. She does not however have any moral high ground to pontificate to anyone else, even if she did so.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:20 am
    27. Hugh Wason #

      Gillian and her ancestors may well have something to apologise for, fortunately, this does not apply to me, nor in all probably the majority of whites who’s forefathers left homes and families in other lands to move to other lands, with vast open spaces and the challenge of the unknown. They brought many things of value, endured hardships and certainly did not live in the lap of luxury, at the expense of ‘Locals’… The primary population groupings in SA at the time, were small, many arriving from further North and squeezing out the San and Hotentots. Her sanctimonous rambling are ok as a April 1st Fools Joke

      January 7, 2013 at 10:29 am
    28. Brett Smith #

      Blah blah blah . How about we stop talking about white people and black people and just talk about people .

      January 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm
    29. Florence #

      My hair is a bird, therefore your argument is invalid

      January 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm
    30. Trick #

      What a lot of absolute tripe
      Here we see yet another example of an individual wearing her politically correct badge on both sleeves.
      And of course supported with an attempt to talk down to all the silly little people who
      the author assumes can’t think for themselves.
      The whole tone of this piece resonates with a kind of dogmatic homourless self appointed doctrine.
      Gillian Schutte, reveals much about herself through her sometimes simplistic assumptions and utterances but above all her view of the social terrain signals
      her paranoid white guilt laager mentality.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm
    31. Petribold #

      Having read this I once again despair.

      When will I be a person and not a combination of colour and gender?

      Does the colour or your skin matter when so many in this country are without what we consider basic rights? Does the colour of THEIR skins matter?

      Does the colour of your skin and the history behind it matter when you can afford to sit in a cushy office and write blogs/ comments on news sites, when others, regardless of the colour of their skin, can’t even afford food for the day?

      This, truly, is the tragedy of our day.

      For 2013 I am resigned to watching our society, South African, society of all colours, pointlessly lashing out at itself.

      That said, kind of funny reading an article about a white person telling white people they should be telling people what they should do. Yet another clown for the South African politics humour brigade. Guess if you’re white you can’t help but be white. Heaven forbid if you’re any other colour and you tell someone else what to do.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm
    32. chris #

      What apologist crap. If I could have a 2013 wish, it would be that we get off the boring subject of race, and start building this country.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm
    33. Stephan #

      Hi

      Just a few thoughts:

      1) Does the fact that I am a white Afrikaans South African make me a second class citizen that cannot participate in South African politics?
      2) Is the fact that Mr. Zuma is a ANC President means he is immune to prosecution for corruption?, and is me being white and asking the question wrong?
      3) If my family members are murdered on a farm and hideously tortured and mutilated (and it happened to us) are it justified because we are Afrikaans and white?
      4) Do I stop trying to contribute because I am this terrible white person and leave?

      I only have a SA Passport, I do not have family overseas, I am as African as all the other South Africans. I understand that there is pockets of white resistance and snobs out there, but there are also pockets of black racists out there.

      Please do not paint everybody with the same tar brush because you are gravely mistaken.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm
    34. Oy! #

      I am also in a cross ethnic relationship and we both feel that you are waaaay OTT. Do you honestly choose to spend your time agonising over having had the misfortune of being born white and being part of a culture that you clearly despise? How sad.

      Do you believe whites in South Africa are so stupid that they are not aware of their own sins and those of their forefathers?But how does an individual take concrete action to redress an injustice when someone says for example, that the money is still in the hands of “the whites”. What does the individual do to remedy that ill? Could YOU you tell them please? Could anyone? In the current environment there are no solutions, only accusations. So individuals simply play ostrich. Perhaps they would listen if someone were to offer a viable suggestion?

      Of course people are racist – but I have just returned from abroad and would you know, they are racsit there too!!! Imagine!!! But equally I have come across extreme and uninformed prejudice from some of the black people I have met – do I see that as typifying “black people?” Neither you nor I will change such people by lecturing them and treating them like naughty children. I can only deal with what comes my way.

      Perhaps you should do some introspection and ask why you despise yourself and your white “family” so much. You are frighteningly out of touch with reality. We really don’t hate one another that much – in fact, “some of my best friends are black”..

      January 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    35. Mike Rotch #

      Dear White people???? Oh my Gosh, just that title is so cringeworthy!

      Gillian, I have the following to say about your hideous letter:

      1. By writing this to “white” people in the scolding tone that you used, you are claiming to have arrived, to be the living example of what you are saying. Are you?

      2. Saying that “whites” have nothing to do with a national Debate is an insult to “white people” – they are South African, and National debates always concern them, 100%. Or are whites not true citizens?

      3. You are doing in your letter exactly what you are preaching against – generalising, assuming, categorising.

      SA has moved on from this type of type-casting, so should you.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    36. John #

      I’m so impossibly proud of my European heritage, and I thank God for it every day. It’s sad how our history has been contorted to fit the neo-elite. In comparison – what a kind, beautiful, intelligent, elegant and noble people we are. I pity people like Gillian (that’s if she even exists).

      January 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm
    37. Doct #

      Until people like you stop saying things like “ag shame, poor black people for being black” we will never be the rainbow nation that we should be.

      You are a very racist any white, who hates your self, Do you even know what you are saying?

      firstly you say “I call on white people to reflect on what it means to be born into unearned privilege” My upbringing was nothing short of under-privilege my mom was also a single mom who worked extremely hard to make ends meet – Black people of today ARE born to that unearned privilege, it is difficult as a white male to achieve anything easily, everything revolves around BEE now days, it is impossible for a white person to get business, where a black person will get it just because he is black. They also walk around with a sense of entitlement and people like you are making them believe it even more.

      I agree that apartheid was wrong, but that is LONG over, STOP HARPING ON ABOUT IT. I had no part in it, why should i be prosecuted by something someone did many years ago where the only real ties i have towards them is my skin colour.

      you say: “I will never stop pleading with you to get over yourselves and get with the current programme” but seriously, you need to get over yourself.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm
    38. Oy! #

      “But how does an individual take concrete action to redress an injustice when someone says for example, that the money is still in the hands of “the whites”. What does the individual do to remedy that ill?”

      I guess the answer is clear, however this is not only about money. I do not have a problem with the fair redistribution of wealth.

      It is mostly about education and job, business opportunities that becomes a racially exclusive entitlement. In that unfolding scenario it is really nonsensical and I believe mischievous to challenge Whites to “get your hands dirty while helping to restore this country to a space of dignity”.

      I mean what are they supposed to do if they are going to be increasingly sidelined form the economical and public sector as matter of government policy?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm
    39. Rendy #

      it never ceases to amaze me that my people, yes, i am black, cannot see that it is actually Gillian keeping us in the dark ages and not these ‘so called white people she is yelling at’. black person, do you not enjoy living in the suburbs where there is order and you have the right to complain when you see your rights being abused? or do we all long for anarchy where we can do as we please?
      i sympathised with the man who wrote in, BEING HONEST about the reason he does not have black friends. Even as a black person i have experienced what he spoke of: inconsiderate neighbours etc. i did not judge him for his honesty, he was brave enough to say it and give sound reason to his distrust of black people. yet you belittled the effort he made towards an open dialogue on the issues we face as different races in relating to each other. this is how we achieve that ‘rainbow nation’ sisi, not the way you do it.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm
    40. Is this what passes for journalism? What’s next Gillian, a slideshow?

      January 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm
    41. Let me start with so called born free whites who always niavely claimed that they have nothing do with what thier forefathers did and yet as they say so they are busy eating from the stolen food that was stolen from our forefathers. Racism is still continuing its such that it is now wearing a black face obviously for it to be more sustainable and expand. Remember aparthied was just a policy to advance colonialism and when its job was done, it had to make way for democracy (which does nt always mean freedom) where the capital acumulated over racism time could grow beyond these borders (which by the way are of Cecil Rhodes determination).

      those of u who think racism is dead, just picture in France which shares border with SA but there is no University where the medium of instruction is English but all Afrikan University if Afrikans were to wake up and tell everyone that European languages are nolonger accetable to be medium of instructions in our Universities that would be seen as anti-white by all whites and backwardness by blind blacks yet in China, France, Spain …..many truly independent, Free countries where the indegenious people practise self determination as a principle upon which economy, politics, culture, religion and moral value (law).

      It is by not God design that black maority are poor. In deed it is not God made that no European City has an Afrikan name. That Afrikans must articulate thier ideas acedemically in French o rEnglish in Afrika is not God WILL

      January 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm
    42. Patronising….. sorry but I do not buy it…. White lady trying to be sincere!!!!! Would like to know your true feelings when you are with your white folks!

      January 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    43. Observing #

      Judging by the huge number of responses, this blog has achieved its objective – to manipulate people and create antagonism. However I suggest all should take a step back, with a cool head. The crassness of the language of this blog, as well as some of the sentiments, can only be appreciated by changing the target audience from ‘Dear White People’ to some other minority in a different situation. Let’s take Africans in France, for example, a sizeable and significant minority. Can one imagine a French blogger writing an a analogous blog as follows: ‘Dear Black People in France. I implore you to wake up and smell Europe with a fresh black nose.’ The crassness of the language becomes very obvious and very shocking when one imagines this. Hence my main urge to all is to avoid being manipulated, which I think is being done here in a very cynical way. The writer knows very well that publicity is good, that antagonism creates publicity, and that it takes very little courage to express anti-white sentiments in SA, unlike expressing similar sentiments about people of other races. Hence I urge people of goodwill not to rise to the bait and react aggressively among each other, as I have a feeling that this may be part of the cynical intentions of this blog. Rather stand together against racism of any kind, no matter whom it is directed at.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm
    44. ntozakhona #

      Ozozeblue nice try but I do not agree with you I agree with the equitable distribution of wealth that will remove the basis of the superiority complex afflicting some of us.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm
    45. Max #

      “Being racist at someone you think is racist is like stabbing someone ’cause they’re violent.” Chester Missing

      January 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm
    46. Pete Shell #

      Thank you for your very thoughtful blog sister Gillian! I’m a Euro-American anti-racist fighter and have decided to stop calling myself ‘white’. I still acknowledge that I have white skin privilege which is why it’s my responsibility to fight against racism and white supremacy. But I believe that as long as we keep internalizing the idea that we are ‘white’, we won’t be able to rid ourselves of the white supremest mentality and superior attitude that goes along with that.

      In order to do away with racism we need to do away with race. There is no scientific basis for race. Instead, it was constructed by colonialists to divide and conquer people. For us to truly unite and fight the oppression, we need to get over the artificial barriers of mistrust that racism has imposed. Let’s realize that we all belong to the *human* race, and unite with our sisters and brothers of all backgrounds to overcome oppression and achieve true justice and equality.

      Pete Shell
      Pittsburgh, PA, USA

      January 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm
    47. TT Mbha #

      If only we were “ALL” able to channel all this rage and passion into creating a proud legacy for South Africa and Africa at large! I am black and you are white but in the bigger scheme of things who really cares when the rest of the world is continuously creating economic benchmarks daily!

      January 8, 2013 at 12:14 am
    48. LeftBecauseofPeopleLikeYou #

      As a South African living in the USA, I cannot for the life of me figure out what you are trying to say with this piece. Your reading of history is not only deeply suspect but your current assessment of the racial situation is flawed. It’s political correctness that will destroy the country, not racial division. There has been political, economic and educational equality in SA for over 15 years, it’s about time everyone was held accountable to simply get on with it.

      BTW: ‘rejecting’ your ancestors legacy is asinine, most likely everything you have is a direct result of their work and contribution to the country. If you truly reject their legacy, sell everything you have and distribute it to the poor (be they black, white, brown or yellow.)

      January 8, 2013 at 1:16 am
    49. Guilt and denial are common among the psychologically abused.

      My suggestion is for White people to leave S Africa to the Africans.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:24 am
    50. Afta all is sed and done, the article does hold sum truth to it.i hear some saying until when must they beg, again i hear othaz voice their concenrs which is fine but how many white people were voicing their concerns when they had to the top jobs, earning better than their black counterparts,allocated 1st class on trains and transport systems whilst blacks were on 3rd class, the list is endless. only now that these injustices have to be corrected and now all of a sudden, every white person now has a voice. Is it right for sum1 to move into ur house, use ur utensils, eat ur food,sleep in ur bed, take over ur household and turn u into a servant in ur own house? This is what has happened in Afica and we have been decent enough to accept the past and not to over-react to it by being violent like we saw in Zim and many other african countries. If people are not happy with whats going on in SA and are not willing to be a positive change, if people think theres a genocide on whites in SA, then by all means, take your families and move to New Zealand and Australia, most of your family is there anyway and let those who know SA to be home, to stay and salvage what they can.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:36 am

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